despair Definition

the feeling that there is no hope and that you can do nothing to improve a difficult or worrying situation.

Using despair: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "despair" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She sank into despair when she lost her job.

  • Example

    The team was filled with despair after losing the championship game.

  • Example

    He felt a sense of despair as he watched the destruction caused by the hurricane.

  • Example

    The country is in a state of despair due to the ongoing conflict.

despair Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using despair

  • in the depths of despair

    feeling extremely hopeless and depressed


    After the breakup, she was in the depths of despair and couldn't imagine ever being happy again.

  • feeling that there is no hope for something or someone


    The doctors were despairing of his recovery after the accident.

  • to feel very sad or disappointed about something


    Many people feel despair at the state of the world today.

Phrases with despair

  • feeling hopeless and without any expectation of improvement


    She was in despair after her husband died.

  • beyond despair

    having no hope left at all


    The situation was beyond despair, with no solution in sight.

  • to lose hope or confidence in something or someone


    I despair of ever finding a job in this economy.

Origins of despair

from Old French 'despoir', meaning 'without hope'


Summary: despair in Brief

The term 'despair' [dɪˈspeə(r)] refers to the feeling of hopelessness and lack of control in difficult or worrying situations. It can be used to describe a range of emotions, from sadness to depression, and is often accompanied by phrases like 'in despair' and 'beyond despair.' The idiom 'in the depths of despair' denotes extreme hopelessness, while 'despairing of' and 'despair at' describe a sense of loss of hope or confidence.

How do native speakers use this expression?